Lower Incident Rates With Fleet Tracking
GPS fleet tracking is much more than just keeping tabs on where your fleet drivers are.
Your employees may not be all too pleased with the addition of such novel surveillance tech into the mixture due to concerns over their trustworthiness in your eyes, however, fleet tracking can actually work out for their benefit too.
GPS fleet management can help you ensure fleet safety and cut down the risk of road accidents.
Theft protection and prevention of misuse of company assets are well-known applications of GPS fleet tracking. However, scaling down accident rates via fleet tracking is not a farfetched idea, it not only true and quite practical, but has been done successfully by thousands of fleet owners and managers.
In this article, we will share how fleet management systems such as Fleetr can help fleet owners tackle accident risks and ensure fleet safety despite the increasing frequency of road incidents.
Some Important USA Road Accident Statistics
If you look at the numbers reflecting accident risks throughout the USA, you won’t find any relief there. Accidents happen with such staggering frequency on the roads that you’d be very lucky if none of your fleet vehicles have ever been involved in any, however, luck isn’t always going to be there for you.
If Lady Luck doesn’t owe you a favor or two, you better get started with the preparations to minimize the accident risks for your fleet.
According to some estimates:
- Almost six million accidents per year, on average, happen on the streets of the USA.
- As a result, around 3 million people face crash injuries and thus need to seek medical attention.
- Of these overwhelmingly high number of accidents, at least 40,000 turn out to be fatal.
- These fatalities are mostly associated (around 30% of the cases) with over-speeding the vehicle.
- 1/3 of road crash fatalities result due to crashes resulting from negligence or recklessness.
And that’s not all, some states in the USA have not seen a single day without a traffic crash fatality – yes, not even a SINGLE day! Despite the best efforts from the governing bodies and their departments, the accident risks have only shot up as the streets started to become more and more crowded.
Ironically, when the traffic density fell due to the restrictions set in place by the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of accidents did not follow suit. Apparently, people saw emptier streets as an excuse to show negligence and over-speed which sealed the fates of many and caused serious injuries to others.
All of these facts are worrisome for you, as a fleet manager, because if your employees get involved in such incidents, your company will be dragged into the legal mess that follows. Fleet managers must not only ensure the safety of their employees but also safeguard the interests of their company.
To do so, the integration of fleet tracking technology is a step in the right direction.
But before we go on and explore how the fleet tracking technology can help mitigate accident risks, let’s understand what we’re dealing with.
Fleet Accidents: Causes & Remedies
Fleet accidents (in general) remained immune to the recent spike in accident rates. There were, of course, exceptions to this trend, but mostly, the accident risks for fleet vehicles remained constant even though they rose significantly overall.
However, another way to look at this fact, and a rather sad angle, is that there was no decrease in the accident risks for fleet vehicles.
Experts have expressed concern in this area. Some said that they were disappointed that the introduction of extra safety features such as emergency brakes and lane detection did little to prevent road incidents.
This, they believe happened due to the use of cellphones during driving which essentially neutralized the effect of such safety features.
Thus enhanced monitoring is more important now than ever before.
Let’s explore how fleet crashes happen, and what can be done to preempt such incidents:
The leading cause of traffic accidents in the USA is distraction, in all of its forms. Whether you’re using the cellphone while driving, or eating, or talking to the passengers, you’re risking a crash. Distracted driving can’t be summed up that easily in terms of a definition.
Any number of activities can be considered distractions, some more than others.
Some may even call fumbling with the GPS a form of distraction.
If your employees are not attentive about what goes on the road – they’re contributing to the elevation of accident risks. And such incidents are especially horrible because the reaction period is slashed and the collisions happen at high speeds.
Distracted driving accidents can be prevented by being eternally vigilant on the street. Here, fleet managers can save their companies a lot of trouble by screening potential employees with great care before closing the hiring process.
You should also host multiple talks and discussions about road safety to inculcate safe practices in the minds of your employees.
Another major cause of vehicle crashes is speeding. Remember that with speed, the momentum of the vehicle multiplies – making it all the more destructive. And since the transportation business involves bulkier vehicles like vans and trucks (i.e. trucking accidents), the impact at high speeds can be especially devastating.
The root cause here is poor planning and ineffective time management. Most drivers are in a mad rush to get things done because they either delayed departure or did not plan the route effectively. In either case, fleet managers have to deal with late shipments and delayed arrival at the client’s place.
Drivers mistakenly believe that pressing hard against the accelerator will help them reach their destination on time. This, of course, is far from reality. At best, it is only going to create a difference of a couple of minutes but the accident risks associated with such a rush are staggering.
Not only do the employees put themselves at risk of a crash with over-speeding but will also make the company liable if an incident does happen. Usually, the settlement process of such crashes can drain thousands of dollars from the company’s insurance coverage.
To avoid this, fleet managers can keep a close eye on what their drivers are up to and act as soon as they spot aggressive behavior. Most fleet tracking applications such as Fleetr have a built-in feature that notifies fleet managers about any instances of speeding or unsafe driving.
Violating Traffic Rules
Traffic laws exist to safeguard everyone on the road, and violating them can lead to disastrous consequences. If your driver violated traffic laws and that led to a crash, they will be considered at fault – no questions asked.
Usually, people violate traffic signals when they’re traveling too fast to stop in time. You can instruct your drivers to do otherwise. Show your employees that doing so will not only lead to severe pain, suffering, and financial losses but also drag the company into a deep legal mess.
Of course, enhanced monitoring and using tracking applications to their fullest is one way of preempting such occurrences and ensuring that your drivers act responsibly on the road.
Just be sure to stay in the loop of all that is happening – you don’t have to keep your eyes peeled at the screen and look for signs of aggressive driving or traffic law violations, instead, you’ll get notified if something like this happens.
Don’t ignore the bell when it rings!
We’ve mentioned aggressive driving in the preceding sections, this is where we explain what we mean by it. Simply put, any driving behavior that boosts the risk of a crash can be termed as aggressive driving. However, the term usually applies to when a person hard presses against the accelerator or the brakes.
Sudden acceleration and deceleration fall under the canopy of aggressive driving. If the vehicle fails to stop in time, the results can be catastrophic. Make it clear to all of your employees that they should never rush through the traffic even if the vehicles in front of them are moving at a testudinal pace.
The app will also indicate all instances of aggressive driving and you can use the data to confront employees who’ve repeatedly ignored your calls for caution.
Sometimes it is not the driver who’s at fault but rather the maintenance troubles with the vehicle that compromise its safety. With such a tight schedule to handle and strict deadlines to meet, it is very much possible that some maintenance needs may skip your attention.
Fleet trackers usually share updates regarding the vehicle’s on-board diagnosis and that is, in most cases, enough to show you where the problem lies. Act immediately, don’t delay fixing the issue because it will only get worse over time.
The last thing you want is for your fleet vehicles to break down amid their journey, or worse, get involved in a crash because of the maintenance problem.
While fleet trackers are as useful as they get in this matter, the importance of regular performance checks cannot be overstated in this regard.
In the case of such an accident, your company will share the maximum fraction of the blame.
Many fleet drivers get a commission out of their work, and this compels them to work humanly impossible hours. The result? They feel drowsy on the wheel – a huge threat to any fleet’s safety.
Companies are legally required to schedule the working hours of their drivers effectively so that none of them have to work beyond human capacity. If you force your employees to push things beyond the limit, then brace yourself for the consequences.
Even if a driver surrenders to drowsiness for no more than a couple of seconds, the results can be more dangerous than what most may imagine. Remember, your company policy regarding worker safety will deeply impact your position in any traffic crash lawsuit.
Fleet managers make it a point not to burden any worker more than what they bear – and this is essential for ensuring a smooth flow of operation and evading accident risks.
Fleet Tracking Can Reduce Accident Risks
We’ve mentioned a couple of times that fleet tracking systems can lower the risk of traffic incidents through prompt notifications and by providing complete transparency. In this section, we will show you how exactly do fleet trackers help managers ensure the safety of their drivers and assets.
The best part about fleer tracking is that you don’t have to stay glued to the screen for hours straight. Instead, you can proceed with all the stuff that matters, take care of all the important business relates tasks, seek new clients, expand your reach, and so on.
Feel free to jump in and see the progress of your fleet vehicles, but don’t worry about missing out on important details. Safety is the prime concern of these fleet tracking systems, and if something happens that can compromise the safety of your fleet assets, you’ll be the first one to know.
The app will notify you immediately if there is speeding, hard braking, swift acceleration, aggressive driving, and so on. These are updates and alerts that you don’t want to miss out on and you won’t – the app will see to it that you see and respond to such issues.
As soon as you get the alerts, the rest is on your shoulders.
You have to communicate with your drivers and let them know that such behavior will not be tolerated.
Another benefit of such alerts and notifications is that it creates a sense of responsibility and accountability for your drivers. If they know that they’re being watched constantly and any unsafe practices on their end will be reported immediately to the fleet managers, they’ll be more careful.
You can keep records of their performances and safety alerts to see if they’re improving their attitude or not. If someone proves to be a constant source of nuisance, don’t tolerate their insubordination any longer than you have to – let them go.
Your business and safety interests come first.
Another form of these alerts notify users if any pending maintenance issues need to be dealt with before they become any bigger of a problem. Maintenance problems can easily slip through routine checks and create problems on the road.
Not only do such issues jeopardize the safety of the drivers but may also cause severe injury (or injuries) to any other party involved in the crash. For instance, if the vehicle brakes need to be fixed, you can’t delay your response to the matter because doing so will be a serious blow to your efforts at boosting fleet safety.
If such a vehicle fails to avoid a collision due to the pending maintenance problems that you were supposed to deal with, you will automatically be considered at fault. The company’s complicity is sealed in such cases and you can expect to lose a huge sum if the accident was severe.
Fleets, whether they are small-sized, comprising of a couple of vans, or larger, made up of trucking vehicles, can all run into issues with maintenance. Regular checks, though important, are not always possible and even these inspections may not reveal all of the problems.
This is where the fleet tracking technology comes to the rescue yet once again. With constant on-board diagnostic reports coming your way, you’ll know when something needs to be done. Once you discover the issue, don’t delay solving it.
With live monitoring of the location of all fleet vehicles, at once, you can constantly keep an eye on the activities of your drivers and see if there is something out of the way. If you notice any unsafe driving behavior (the live stats will report this), you can act immediately.
Moreover, these live updates will also allow you to see if one of your vehicles is headed towards a route that poses many hazards on the way, you can ask the driver to redirect. Some areas and roads have higher than usual accident risks, you should avoid these as much as possible.
Just remember to jump in now and then to see the progress for yourself – with better monitoring, you can ensure better fleet safety.
Another milestone towards creating a safer environment for the fleets is boosting communication. However, you also want to avoid annoying your employees. They should not feel bombarded with your messages and updates, instead, you should communicate only when there is a need.
Luckily, through real-time tracking, half of the need for communication is slashed immediately: you don’t have to call and ask for the driver’s location. But you still need to tell your drivers when they’re acting unprofessionally or when their actions are threatening others.
Be careful here, find the balance – because otherwise you’ll either be disconnected or highly annoying.
Let’s say, for some reason you couldn’t check on and respond to irresponsible behavior when it happened. You were busy elsewhere and thus missed the alerts – no worries, you can revisit the chapter even after the trips have been completed.
Fleet tracking apps keep detailed records of all drivers, their performance, and relevant stats to ensure that no data gets lost. This way, if your drivers acted negligently and drive aggressively, you’ll be able to see that in their data records and confront them about their unprofessionalism.
The best part is that you don’t have to keep tabs by yourself, instead, it’s all automated – which brings us to our next point…
Automation is perhaps the most important aspect of fleet tracking. Not only does the removal of human involvement in the record-keeping business keep it much cleaner from manipulations but also ensures that the process becomes much simpler.
The best part is that with automated records, there is no deniability.
Your drivers will have to concede when you confront them about their reckless behavior with the reports as proof. Since the records are created by an AI, rather than a human, there is no chance of any data manipulation, and your employees know that as well.
Such records can also help fleet managers see if their employees have shown improvement over time or not – and if the answer is no, you can let those employees go.
Don’t think twice before laying off insubordinate workers because the consequences of traffic accidents can be devastating and you don’t want to deal with such a mess.
Results Affirming The Role Of Fleet Tracking In Ensuring Fleet Safety
You’re probably wondering at this stage if these systems only work in theory or if they have contributed, in actuality, to the improvement of fleet safety for businesses.
Short answer, yes.
Long answer, here we go:
Companies that have adopted such technologies had reported a fall in the rate of accidents for their fleet vehicles.
Leading business reps have said that the sense of responsibility inculcated by the introduction of fleet tracking has made their drivers more responsible on the road and more open for scrutiny from fleet managers.
2021 Fleet Technology Trends Survey
Businesses that were struggling with keeping their accidents in check reported as much as an 80% reduction in the accident rates. These numbers are neither made up nor inflated, instead, they have been reported by the 2021 Fleet Technology Trends Survey.
The survey also mentioned that with the introduction of fleet tracking systems, commercial drivers were less likely to over-speed or drive recklessly. Both of these were contributing causes to the spike in accident cases in the past years, however, the trend seems to be shifting now.
Although, as a whole, fleet accidents have not declined, but those who have adopted the fleet tracking technology report tangible results. On that note, the adoption of fleet tracking systems has risen by 8% due to its merits and effectiveness.
Moreover, fleet managers have reported a substantial increase in response times (to clients) and vehicle maintenance runs. Overall, the customer service quality shot up by a whopping 54% which also means that the ratio of customer retention must have increased accordingly.
The average decrease in accident-associated costs, as reported by fleet managers has been around 11% which means this money, which was formerly lost for nothing, now goes into improving the business setups in the areas that were bleeding before.
Also, they reported that the use of in-cab footage and dash-cam footage, coupled with fleet tracking helped them out in various scenarios. It is possible for one of your drivers to be wrongly accused of an accident that was the other party’s fault – through this video evidence, you can prove otherwise.
Fleet Tracking Investment Correlates With Driver Safety
This whole time we were discussing how irresponsible behavior can create problems for your business and that the monetary drains are avoidable – this much is true. However, there is another side to the picture as well and that is the safety of your drivers.
Employees reside at the heart of every business – the harder they work, the more profitable the business becomes. Thus you have good reason to respect your workers and you should ensure that they are treated as well as possible.
We made it a point to communicate that you should act like a leader rather than a boss – this way, you can get more done with less.
Your drivers may not be on board with the integration of fleet tracking technology, fearing that their truthfulness is being undervalued. It is up to you to show them that this is not the case, instead, your endeavors are meant to facilitate everyone involved in the business.
Businesses have reported between 15% to 28% reduction in accident rates after implementing fleet tracking technology. Large transport enterprises saw a significant 22% decrease in the accident risks immediately after implementing the technology.
Not only do these accidents create a huge financial burden on the company but also put the driver under enormous physical and emotional pressure. Any accident injury can be a cause of intense suffering either in the short-term or long-term, i.e. some people never recover from a serious blow to the head or back.
This permanently slashes down their earning potential for the rest of their lives.
And since maintenance-related issues were handled with a 49% greater efficiency in businesses that adopted such technologies, the risk of incidents was also cut down accordingly. Compliance with fleet managers, across the fleet, was also improved by a whopping 52% which meant that the process became more streamlined and less worrisome for all parties involved.
Moreover, route optimization, improvement in scheduling, and better management – all of which result due to the integration of this technology – create a very efficient and productive atmosphere for the drivers. It also cuts down unnecessary exertion on their part and lets them do their job hassle-free.
Return On Investment – Is Fleet Tracking Worth It?
The 8% spike in the number of businesses that shifted towards fleet tracking (mentioned earlier) is a continuation of a trend that has gone this way for years now. Business owners and fleet managers have opened up to the novel idea and for good reason, via fleet tracking, they have reportedly excelled in the following areas:
- Real-time vehicle monitoring and evaluation
- Boosting productivity across the board from the managers to the employees
- Promoting safer driving practices and deterring aggressive behavior on the road
- Checking important vehicle diagnostic reports and eliminating maintenance issues before they become more problematic
- Saving up on repair costs and accident-related losses
- Creating a smart route plan for all fleet vehicles and better scheduling of all workers involved
Many also advocate for the incorporation of dash-cams and in-cab cameras for even better monitoring (i.e. drowsiness, distracted driving, etc.) Thus it would be an understatement to say that fleet management has boosted business success – it has redone the whole framework.
Overall, 45% of the businesses that opted for fleet tracking technology, reported a decent return on investment in under a year, and almost 22% of these parties did so in less than three months!
Fleetr Is Your Perfect Solution For Ensuring Safety In The Fleet Business
Safety is one of the foremost concerns for any fleet-based business, it stands there right after productivity and cost-efficiency. However, the problem with safety assurance is that in most cases, it is not a low-cost venture.
Instead, fleet tracking systems, in general, can be quite expensive, thus making them out of the question for most small businesses.
To tackle this problem, Fleetr has begun to spread its sphere of influence in the fleet management business. With over 20,000 vehicles using the system as of writing this article and having enjoyed great success and acclaim, Fleetr is at the forefront of fleet management options for small businesses.
It is highly affordable, comes without binding contracts or hidden fees, and is as simple as things get in the GPS tracking realm.
Sounds like a sweet deal, right?
Contact us today, and we’ll show you how Fleetr can help your business become more streamlined and ensure the safety of your employees and vehicles.